March Break Camp Ins
Participants in the 2017 MNO Infinite Reach March
Break Camp. Front row(s) (left-right): Michael Smith,
Wanda Botsford, Emily (CEC Staff), Senator Verna
Porter-Brunette, Heather Bell, Melody Chislett-
Morris, Reagan Sicard, Rebekah Trudel, Riley
Richmond, Sarah McCaveney, Nicole Beck, Jainna
Haitse and Gloree Hersom. Standing (left-right):
Senator Robert Lloyd, Vic Brunelle, Steve Gautreau
Senator Alis Kennedy, Kiel Cress, Shelby (CEC
Staff), Karen Cox-Gourdon (CEC Staff), Maverick
McBride, Sheandra Kitchen, Sebastien Trembly,
Sophie Laroque, Kaitlyn Gouliquer, Samantha Rose,
Jacxsen Cress, Travis (CEC Staff), Savannah
Whalen, Janna Rose, Paige Chartrand, Ivan
Grisdale, Taylor Clark, Donelle Tynes, Robert
McBride, Senator Ray Bergie. Missing from the
photo: Hunter and Madison Mageau, Anne Trudeau,
Alicia Blore, Allyssa Lewis and Scott Carpenter.
Click here for larger picture.

The week of March 12-16, 2017, was an exciting one for 24 Métis youth who gathered from all over Ontario to participate in the annual MNO Infinite Reach March Break Camp. Every year more high school students come to this remarkable event to learn about postsecondary opportunities and discover more about their Métis heritage. As has been the case for the last several years, the March Break Camp took place at the Canadian Ecology Centre (CEC) near Mattawa.

Students were kept hopping from the time they arrived on Sunday night until they left on Thursday. Activities included workshops on the value of postsecondary education, the MNO Infinite Reach program and Writing Resumes and Cover Letters. They also learned about MNO programs and services including Urban Aboriginal Strategy Research and Healing Moccasins.

The students spent a lot of time learning about their Métis culture and way-of-life. This included sessions learning how to jig to fiddle music, finger weave sashes and create Métis dot art. Métis harvesters Nelson Montreuil and Roger Labelle taught the students about trapping, furs and how to skin a beaver and stretch a beaver pelt. Senator Robert Lloyd provided instructions on making Sumac sap spiles and the students also made, cooked and ate bannock.

The highlight for many of students was all the time they spent outside getting in touch with nature and the land. This included campfires, snowshoe hikes where they were introduced to their voyageur heritage and winter ecology and on their last night the Creatures of the Night Wolf Howl led by the CEC staff.

Throughout the Camp, the students benefited from the teachings and guidance from Senators Verna Porter-Brunelle, Dr. Alis Kennedy, Ray Bergie and Commissioner Vic Brunelle, Infinite Reach Facilitator Heather Bell, as well as the support from a team of MNO staff members including Alicia Blore, Anne Trudel, Wanda Botsford, Melody Chislett-Morris, Alyssa Lewis, Michael Smith, Scott Carpenter, Marsha Depotier and Steve Gautreau.

All the excitement of the March Break Camp was captured by a videographer and is being produced into a short video that will be posted on the MNO website and social media pages in the next few days. More pictures from the camp have also been posted as an album on the MNO Facebook page.

Click here to see pictures from the MNO March Break Camp.

Posted: March 21, 2017